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Intellectual Property Rights and the Future of Universal Service Obligations in Communications

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  • Christian Jaag

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Abstract

Network industries are traditionally strongly influenced by sector-specific regulation; especially universal service obligations (USO) play an important role. In these sectors, USO impact market forces by shaping competition asymmetrically. They also interfere with other regulations such as intellectual property laws which are of increasing importance in these industries. This interaction has recently become of interest in the postal sector due to its recent convergence with telecommunications and the emergence of innovative services at the interface of the two sectors. In free markets, the design of intellectual property right trades off investment incentives against market distortions due to (temporary) exclusive rights. USO distort competition and thereby affect the optimal solution of this trade-off. The paper discusses various aspects of the influence of patents on universal service provision. It also illustrates these effects by means of a simple model of an innovation race under asymmetric regulation and with forced licensing to derive regulatory and policy implications to safeguard a cost-effective and consumer-oriented provision of universal services.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Swiss Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0040.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:chc:wpaper:0040

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Web page: http://www.swiss-economics.ch
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Keywords: Universal service obligation; Communications; Intellectual Property;

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  1. Boldron, François & Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Joram, Denis & Roy, Bernard, 2007. "Social costs and benefits of the universal service obligation in the postal market," IDEI Working Papers 456, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," Levine's Working Paper Archive 228400000000000002, David K. Levine.
  3. Siebert, Ralph & von Graevenitz, Georg, 2006. "How Licensing Resolves Hold-Up: Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Data Model with Unobserved Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Innovation and Incentives," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693437, December.
  5. Jaag Christian, 2011. "Entry Deterrence and the Calculation of the Net Cost of Universal Service Obligations," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, March.
  6. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  7. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2011. "The future of the USO - Economic rationale for universal services and implications for a future-oriented USO," Working Papers 0026, Swiss Economics.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit, 2006. "State-Dependent Intellectual Property Rights Policy," NBER Working Papers 12775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. M. Maegli & C. Jaag & M. Koller & U. Trinkner, 2010. "Postal Markets and Electronic Substitution: What is the Impact of Intermodal Competition on Regulatory Practices and Institutions?," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 11(4), pages 382-398, December.
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